A penpal would receive the letters via postal mail and in turn write about similar subjects regarding their school, daily life and extra community activities. Through the penpal writings, students on both sides of the pen learned a great deal about the lives of children elsewhere in the world and what types of environments each lived in.
While American children eat prepared meals from restaurants or cafeterias, their penpal counterparts ate freshly prepared meals like fish they caught will helping their fathers at the marinas or beans picked from the fields. While American children are not typically required to catch or pick their own food, the children abroad relish in wrapping their minds around the fact that someone would do all the work and make it available to them prepared to eat right away.
Sometimes the children abroad must make their own clothing. American children take a home economics class to satisfy requirements, not really to learn to sew or cook. In the fast paced world of American society, there is precious little time for these types of activities. Most go to the store, purchase what they need and use it accordingly. How wonderfully strange when a mother was asked by her two daughters who helped her cook meals in the home for their family if she would sew them each an apron! While it didn’t take a lot of time, it was a special gift to the daughters.
Shucking wheat and harvesting food in the bean fields takes up a large majority of time in less developed countries. While they are more likely to learn the trades of their fathers and mothers than they would be to study a foreign language, there are many students who have chosen to study in the Americas with hopes of a different type of future for themselves and, one day, their family. Some have seen great success; while others have returned home, realizing they do not want a different type of life. The fast-paced, hectic lifestyle of the Americans can be overwhelming at best.
Culture diversity is a class that many have taken in a classroom setting, either as a class in school or as a training seminar at their place of business. Such importance is placed on these types of studies due to the global direction the marketplace has taken and will continue to take. Did you ever think that your penpal from back in the seventies might be the very decision maker who, through international trade agreements provides approximately 45% of your overall profit? If only you could go back and know to stay in touch!